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Jonsson School Student Takes 2 Awards at Thesis Competition

Jonsson School Student Takes 2 Awards at Thesis Competition

Kara Peak

Kara Peak

Kara Peak, a biomedical engineering doctoral student in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, won two out of three awards at the DFW regional Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in June at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

The competition, developed by the University of Queensland in Australia, recognizes students who can effectively explain their research in three minutes for a nonspecialist audience. Peak won both first place and the People’s Choice honor at the competition, which came with cash prizes.

She explained her research on developmental tissue engineering with Dr. Victor Varner, assistant professor of bioengineering. Peak studied the biochemical signal fibroblast growth factor 10 along with biomechanical forces to determine how embryonic tissues develop naturally. Her goal is to help reduce mortality by removing or improving tissues in the body and creating an engineered organ rather than waiting for a donated organ.

"I’m a very wordy person. I had to focus on the story I wanted to tell. I wrote out why the research is important, what tissue engineering research looks like, how mine is different and the implications of it all. I definitely had to whittle a lot down,” Peak said.

Peak is working on her doctoral proposal this fall and hopes to eventually get a research position in either academia or industry.

Read the original News Center story here.


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